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TipSheet: City Council, 3.2.17

Thursday, March 2, 2017 by Elizabeth Pagano

City Council will hold its regular meeting again today, and below is a list of items we’re watching. In the interest of space, we’ve decided not to post the entire agenda. The Office of the City Clerk posts a copy on its website, here.

7. Approve an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 2-1 to establish the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Quality of Life Advisory Commission.

Monitor’s Take: Ladies and gentlemen, you are formally invited to witness the creation of a brand-new commission! According to the resolution, this 15-member board will advise City Council on LGBTQ issues, as you may have guessed.

8. Approve an ordinance amending the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 City of Austin Fee Schedule Ordinance No. 20160914-003 to change the fee for providing expedited building plan review. Related to Item 9.

9. Approve an ordinance amending City Code Title 4 relating to requirements for expedited development permitting and worker protection standards. Related to Item 8

Monitor’s Take: Though this was seemingly one of the few agenda items not discussed at Tuesday’s work session, that could change today. Though Council approved the expedited permitting process back in September, the “fee consultant” has completed their work, so now it’s time to change the fee schedule and establish what the benefits of participating in the program will be.

14. Approve an ordinance correcting Ordinance No. 20161110-032, to correct certain exhibits to the zoning ordinance for property described in zoning file C814-2012-0152, Pilot Knob Planned Unit Development.

Monitor’s Take: Another Pilot Knob SNAFU! Unfortunately for us news types, this looks to be a much smaller mistake than the previous affordable housing confusion and subsequent lawsuit that successfully brought the development back to City Hall. It looks like this is a measure to replace outdated exhibits (about things like impervious cover) approved during the second go-around with the correct materials. All of the actual conditions of the zoning will remain unchanged.

22. Authorize negotiation and execution of a 36-month contract with EMPLOYEE OWNED NURSERY ENTERPRISES, LTD DBA ORGANICS “BY GOSH”, to provide organics processing services, in an estimated amount of $1,510,000, with three 12-month extension options in an estimated amount of $940,000 for the first option, $950,000 for the second option, and $960,000 for the third option, for a total contract amount not to exceed $4,360,000.

Monitor’s Take: It’s unclear where things currently stand with this organics contract. If you recall, it caused a bit of a fuss at the Zero Waste Advisory Commission. But then again, most things do.

31. Approve a resolution initiating the rezoning of the following City properties to a public (P) district designation: (1) approximately 400 acres of land known as Onion Creek Metro Park, located at 8652 Nuckols Crossing Road; (2) approximately 200 acres of land known as Onion Creek Greenbelt, located at 7004 Onion Creek Drive; and (3) approximately 99 acres of land known as the Lower Onion Creek Buy-out Area; and directs the City Manager to process the rezoning cases.

Monitor’s Take: This here is a plan to convert about 600 acres of city land in Onion Creek to official parkland. Though some of the land is currently functioning as a park and it looks like some of it is the city’s following flood buyouts, the current zoning prevents amenities from being constructed. As a note, this is just a resolution that will get that rezoning started, and there will be more of a public process to follow even if it passes.

32. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to prepare a timeline, budget recommendations, and ordinances necessary to finalize and implement the Austin Affordability Action Plan as outlined in Exhibit A of the resolution.

Monitor’s Take: As we reported Wednesday, the so-called affordability omnibus sponsored by Council Member Ellen Troxclair was pretty much torn apart at Tuesday’s work session. (Council Member Delia Garza sent out a press release detailing that conversation and her issues with the package on Wednesday as well.) Since Council was essentially forced to stop talking about it due to time constraints, we won’t be shocked at all if those discussions continue today. Even though this is just a resolution and the first step to any proposed changes, we would be pretty surprised if it moved forward without more conversation. As part of that conversation, Troxclair has already made some changes, posted online here. This is set for a time certain of 2 p.m.

34. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to develop recommendations for reforming the City’s economic development incentives policies.

Monitor’s Take: Though included in the omnibus, if that doesn’t pass, this component is all ready to go! This revamp of the city’s economic incentives is intended to shift the program’s focus to bringing jobs to the city’s Eastern Crescent and, just more generally, incentivizing the growth of local jobs that are more in line with affordability goals.

35. Approve a resolution condemning Presidential executive orders and actions relating to a ban on immigrants, travelers, and refugees from certain Muslim-majority countries.

Monitor’s Take: We are predicting this largely political item will pass in a vote of 9-1, but it still might take up some time due to speeches.

36. Approve an ordinance renaming the 21-acre parkland near Palmer Events Center and waiving certain provisions of the City Code Chapter 14-1 relating to the renaming of parkland.

Monitor’s Take: Did you know that the 21-acre park near the Palmer Events Center was not named after Ann and Roy Butler, even though it is very close to the hike and bike trail that bears their name? In fact, the park was named after Irish immigrant Michael Butler, who founded the Butler Brick Company in Austin in 1873 and whose family deeded 91 acres of land south of the lake to the city in 1941. This resolution makes the distinction clear and would rename the park “Michael Butler Park.”

37. Approve a resolution amending Resolution No. 20170216-032 to include the Rosewood Park Corridor in the study of potential new Capitol View Corridors.

Monitor’s Take: As noted in our Whispers yesterday, it looks like there is some agreement on what to do about the proposed Rosewood Park Capitol View Corridor. To wit (stolen from the City Council Message Board): “In conversation with Central Health, it has been agreed to expedite the Rosewood Park Capitol View Corridor study to allow Central Health to release their request for proposal by the end of March/ first of April. The amendment will say: ‘…expediting the results and recommendations for the study of the Rosewood Park Corridor to return to Council no later than the March 23rd 2017 Austin City Council meeting with an analysis of the surveyed coordinates and the spatial impact on the properties within the proposed corridor.'” The rest of the newly proposed corridors have a deadline of Aug. 17.

39. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to develop a plan and prepare the City to take a leadership role in the ensuing “New Mobility /Autonomous Vehicle Solution”, that will shift the City’s transportation system to one that enables shared, electric, and autonomous mobility services.

Monitor’s Take: Robot! Cars! Are! Coming!

38. Approve a resolution directing the City Manager to recognize the February 15, 2017 Memorandum on Item 56: Thornton Road Working Group Summary and Recommendations, Exhibit A (Thornton Road Vision), as criteria for consideration of current and future planning and zoning activities associated with this area.

61. C14-2016-0039 – Thornton II – District 5 – Conduct a public hearing and approve second reading of an ordinance amending City Code Chapter 25-2 by rezoning property locally known as 2413 Thornton Road (West Bouldin Creek Watershed) from general commercial services (CS) district zoning to multifamily moderate-high density-conditional overlay (MF-4-CO) combining district zoning.

Monitor’s Take: A final decision on Thornton Road has been put off for a while now. And, in the meantime, this weirdness: As explained by Council Member Ann Kitchen during Tuesday’s work session, the neighborhood and staff developed a “vision” and recommendations for the neighborhood (like a neighborhood plan, but smaller), and this resolution formally recognizes that vision and asks that it be considered as part of CodeNEXT. During the work session, Kitchen seemed confident this was something everyone should understand, but it really wasn’t.

Anyway, there is a time certain of 4 p.m. for the zoning case.

62. C14-2016-0050 – Plaza Saltillo Tract 1/2/3 – District 3 – Approve third reading of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 901, 1011, and 1109 E. 5th Street (Waller Creek Watershed) from transit oriented development-neighborhood plan (TOD-NP) combining district zoning to transit oriented development-central urban redevelopment-neighborhood plan (TOD-CURE-NP) combining district zoning.

63. C14-2016-0049 – Plaza Saltillo Tract 4/5 – District 3 – Approve third reading of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 1211 and 1301 E. 5th Street (Waller Creek and Lady Bird Lake Watersheds) from transit oriented development-neighborhood plan (TOD-NP) combining district zoning to transit oriented development-central urban redevelopment-neighborhood plan (TOD-CURE-NP) combining district zoning.

64. C14-2016-0051- Plaza Saltillo Tract 6 – District 3 – Approve third reading of an ordinance amending City Code Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 413 Navasota Street (Lady Bird Lake Watershed) from transit oriented development-neighborhood plan (TOD-NP) combining district zoning to transit oriented development-central urban redevelopment-neighborhood plan (TOD-CURE-NP) combining district zoning.

40. Approve a resolution regarding use of the Housing Trust Fund contribution from the Plaza Saltillo Development or other funding sources to increase affordable units within or in the vicinity of the Plaza Saltillo Transit Oriented Development Regulating Plan area. Related to Items #62, #63, and #64.

Monitor’s Take: Well, the final vote for the 11-acre redevelopment of Plaza Saltillo is finally (probably) upon us. The decision will likely come down to height and affordable housing, but as the “placeholder option” of Item 40 hints, the final details are still very much working up.

76. C814-2014-0120 – Austin Oaks PUD – District 10 – Conduct a public hearing and approve second reading of an ordinance amending Title 25 by rezoning property locally known as 3409, 3420, 3429, 3445, 3520, 3636, 3701, 3721, 3724, and 3737 Executive Center Drive and 7601, 7718 and 7719 Wood Hollow Drive (Shoal Creek Watershed) from community commercial (GR) district zoning, neighborhood commercial (LR) district zoning, limited office (LO) district zoning and family residence (SF-3) district zoning to planned unit development (PUD) district zoning.

Monitor’s Take: There was a point in time where it looked like this might be a relatively chill PUD rezoning (you know, as related to the Grove at Shoal Creek PUD). That time has passed, though, and we’re expecting a fight over trees and traffic. There’s a valid petition against the PUD, which means it will need nine votes, and everyone still seems plenty mad. Oh! And there is a time certain of 6:30 p.m., but also testimony will be taken throughout the day?

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Austin City Council: The Austin City Council is the body with legislative purview over the City of Austin. It offers policy direction, while the office of the City Manager implements administrative actions based on those policies. Until 2012, the body contained seven members, including the city's Mayor, all elected at-large. In 2012, City of Austin residents voted to change that system and now 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.

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